Day 92-94 Sacred valley- where you can see indigenous life

ウルバンバのMedia Lunaという村のワークショップに参加してきました。クイの飼育、薬草、染色と織物、チチャと呼ばれるトウモロコシのお酒の作り方、おまけに水牛耕まで!

I had a chance to participate in a workshop at a village called Media Luna in Urubamba. I learned much about Guinea pigs, medicinal plants, natural dye and weaving, chicha, and even plowing with buffaloes!

1 クイの飼育方法

how to raise Guinea pigs

今では観光客向けにあちこちで食べられるようになったが、地元の人にとってクイは今でも誕生日や結婚式など特別な日に食べるもの。 彼女は6歳の時からクイの飼育を任されている。朝は大麦、夜はアルファルファを与えている。市場におろすまでに6-7ヶ月かかるそう。糞も肥料として市場で売っている。

Guinea pigs can be eaten in many restaurants nowadays, but the local people eat at special occasions such as birthdays or weddings. She has been raising Guinea pigs since she was 6 years old. She feeds them barley in the morning and alfalfa in the evening. It takes 6-7 months until it grows big enough to sell it in the market. The manure is also selled as fertilizers.


On the day she kills a Guinea pig, she sprinkles the flower pedals of same color to show respect to them.

2 薬草

Medicinal plants

病院が遠い高地の暮らしでは、薬草の知識が欠かせない。こうした知恵は昔からおばあさん、母、娘へと代々受け継がれてきた。 日本人にもなじみの深いカモミールローズマリーユーカリ、そしてこの土地に特有なMuñaやMolleという植物まで色んな効能を説明してくれた。

It's not easy to go to the hospital when you live in highlands. The knowledge of medicinal plants has been passed down from the grandmother to the mother and to the daughter. She taught us the effects of well known plants such as eucalyptus, rosemary, and camomile, among as local plants like muña and molle.


Muña is good for your intestines. I had some muña tea at the cafe.

3 天然染料と織物

Natural dye and weaving

前日に織物の町、チンチェーロにて天然の染料について学んだのでまずはそのことを少し。 クスコの30km北にあるチンチェーロという町では昔から織物産業が盛んである。工房にいくとどのような材料を使って染めるのか、実演を交えてとても丁寧に教えてくれた。(でもスペイン語だからわからなかったこともたくさん。Google先生に頼りまくった)

I learned about natural dye on the prior day at Chinchero. Chinchero is a small town located 30km north of Cusco, and it's famous for weaving. I visited a factory and they showed me the dying process. (But I couldn't understand all because it was all in Spanish. Thanks to Google translate...)


First, you have to wash the alpaca wool, and you use the root of some plant ( I couldn't get the name) They grate the root and dissolve in water, then it becomes bubbly like soap. I heard that it's actually faster than using shampoo.


They combine different ingredients to make the colors. For example, cochineal (an insect that sticks on cactus) is red by itself, but if you put lemon it turns into orange, and if you add volcanic soil, it would be black. They also use purple corn for purple, and chilca leaf + volcanic soil for green. It's so amazing how the beautiful colors all come from natural ingredients.

Media Lunaではさらに乾燥したコチニールを粉にする方法やTaraという豆のようなものとミネラルを混ぜて青い染料を作る様子、そして機織を見せてもらった。

At Media Luna, I learned how to ground the cochineal into powder, make blue dyes from a plant called "Tara" and some minerals, and how to weave.


Dyed with cochineal and salt. It's interesting to see how the color differs depending on how much salt they put.

4 チチャの作り方

How to make Chicha

この辺りではトウモロコシから作られるチチャという飲み物がよく飲まれる。 実にいろんな種類のトウモロコシがあるが、チチャに使われるのは白いもの。

People here make Chicha, which is a drink made from white corn.

まず乾燥したトウモロコシを丸一日水に浸けて発芽させる。 もやしみたいな味だった。

First, soak the corn for 24 hours to make it sprout. It tastes like bean sprout.


Next, ground the corn, add water and barely, and boil it for a hour. Then strain it with the strainer made by a basket and grass.


The gourd was made of some kind of pumpkin.

2-3日寝かせて出来上がり! 砂糖も何も加えない白いチチャと、イチゴと砂糖を加えた赤いチチャがある。 さっぱりしてて美味!

Leave it for 2-3days and it's ready to drink! There are white Chicha with no sugar added, and pink Chicha mixed with strawberries and sugar. It's very refreshing!


When the Chicha is ready, she hangs out a stick with red flower on the top in front of her house. The neighbors come to buy Chicha.


It's fun to see many Chicha signs when you walk through the town.

おまけ 水牛耕

buffalo plowing


I saw many people plowing with Buffaloes on the way. I was lucky to have a chance to try. I used to plow with a horse last year in Japan, but here everyone uses two buffaloes and it's so powerful that it's even hard to just hold the plow. Buffaloes seem more calm than horses.


I saw some fields using tractors, but I hope this traditional way of farming remains.